Dormant campgrounds reopen
It had once been a thriving facility, one of many in Somerset's bustling summer community.
However, for the past five years, Apple River Campground has sat empty.
"There were nine campgrounds and tubing businesses in Somerset during the 1980s," said Jeff Taylor, general manager of the new Apple River Family Campground. "Last year, there were only two."
Add a couple more to that list. Two long-dormant campgrounds - Apple River Hideaway and Apple River Campground - have reopened under new managements.
Apple River Hideaway is now owned by John Montpetit, one of the owners of Float-Rite, and Mike Kappers. They are open for business at 712 170th Ave. For more information, call 715-247-3230.
Apple River Campground, now known as Apple River Family Campground, is owned by Tim Madden, owner of the Star Prairie Trout Farm.
Taylor, who has also been the general manger at the Star Prairie Trout Farm for four years, said they were looking at putting in a campground on the 40 acres next to the trout farm, when this opportunity came up.
Madden brought the property in April, and Taylor said a crew of 30 people had been working round the clock to get the 34-year-old campground ready for a May opening.
The property is currently open, although some of the amenities are not ready yet, such as the two outdoor pools.
In keeping with their name, Taylor said they are really trying to cater to families.
In addition to the two heated swimming pools, the 550-site facility has volleyball courts, game room/arcade, playground area, lawn chair movie nights and coin-operated washer/dryers.
As far as any competition, Taylor said that because they are in a different niche, Apple River Family Campground has been collaborating with the other campgrounds.
"We are working with Float-Rite and River's Edge for tubing since we aren't renting tubes here. Everyone wants to work together to get things up and running."
Apple River Family Campground is open all year. For more information, call 715-247-3600.
Taylor said that they already have a mailing list of people who remember the campground from long ago.
"My wife used to come here as a child," Taylor said. "A lot of people have good memories of this place."